Kiwanis hanging shingle in Okotoks
Community: Newly chartered club has holiday toy drive in the works
Wednesday, Dec 13, 2017 10:13 am
The only people with more energy than a child at Christmas, are the members of Okotoks’ newest service club — who have a mandate to help children.
An excited Mark Anderson, president of the newly formed Kiwanis Club of Okotoks, summed up his feelings in one word.
“Fantastic,” Anderson said. “The people who are joining this club are extremely enthusiastic and they all want to do stuff.”
The Kiwanis Club of Okotoks received its charter during a ceremony at the Crescent Point Regional Field House on Friday.
The club is making a Christmas cracker-like bang in Okotoks — it’s already established a toy drive for approximately 125 children next weekend.
The toy drive was the brainchild of the newly-sworn in Okotoks Kiwanis president more than a quarter of a century ago.
“Twenty-seven years ago I actually started it,” Anderson said. “We came up with the idea [at Calgary’s Northmount Kiwanis] that wouldn’t it be neat if a kid could pick out a toy he or she really wanted — so he or she could back to school and they have the toy other kids have.”
The 24-member-strong Okotoks club has already raised enough funds for 125 children. Anderson said the club is working with other agencies to find the children who will receive the toys next Sunday at Walmart.
“We are putting things together for kids, we go to other agencies that will bring the children,” he said. “Walmart is all over this — they are even providing some staff to help us out.”
Helping children is nothing new to Kiwanis or its newest club for that matter.
The Okotoks club is off to a great start. Its members did plenty of stuff before receiving their official charter.
“We had a membership barbecue to meet people and we were also able to send about 10 kids to camp — all before we put this night together,” Anderson said.
The 10 youths who went to the camp were from the Okotoks area.
Okotoks charter member Susan Dahl was a member of Kiwanis in St. Catherines, Ont. She and her husband Dennis moved back to Alberta recently in and she promptly joined the Okotoks chapter.
“It was a natural fit,” Susan said of joining the Okotoks club. “We love the people here and the area. So far, I can’t believe the enthusiasm and the different ideas from the members in the club.
Dennis Dahl has been part of Kiwanis since 1998, from Calgary and Olds to St. Catherines. He is a family member with the Okotoks club.
“The amount of members who are past Kiwanis brings so much prior knowledge (to the Okotoks club) — it is really great for the town,” Dennis said. “We have new blood as well — new ideas… That is what we are looking for, input from the community.”
The club received its charter from Mario Bruni, Western Canada district governor, who flew in from Thunder Bay for the ceremony.
Bruni told the approximately 50 in attendance it was charter clubs, like the one in Okotoks, that provide added spark and energy to service organizations that might be getting stale in their thinking.
Mayor Bill Robertson also gave his congratulations to Kiwanis Okotoks.
The 18 charter members of the Kiwanis Club of Okotoks are Udo Adam, Mark Anderson, Tannis Andrejcin, Anni Auffray, Diane Bellman, Kirk Bunston, Susan Dahl, Barbara Davidson, John Davidson, Perry Diebert, Shannon Kleibrink, Dwight Koenning, Bob Morrison, Donald Moss, Darial Paxon, Richard Robert, Paul Romaniuk and Doreen Soderberg. The family members include Wendy Adam, Mike Auffray, Todd Bellman, Dennis Dahl, Kelly Davidson and Sharon Moss.
Anyone wishing more information about the Kiwanis Club of Okotoks can phone Anderson at 403-512-3938.